Mubarak presses Iraqi leaders on government formation
Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak met with Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdulhamid and leader of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region Massoud Barzani in Cairo on Tuesday, Egypt's foreign minister told the press, DPA reported.
During the separate talks, Mubarak stressed the importance of the quick formation of a new Iraqi government inclusive of all entities, Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abulgheit, who attended the talks, said in a press statement.
Mubarak also agreed to open two new Egyptian consular offices in the Iraqi cities of Irbil and Mosul.
The talks came just after US Vice President Joe Biden's three-day visit to Iraq which ended on Monday, in which he also put pressure on politicians to speed up the formation of government.
Negotiations over forming the new government have been ongoing since the Iraqi polls last March.
Abdulhamid arrived in Cairo on Monday. Barzani arrived on Sunday after a visit to Jordan for talks on security and economic and cultural cooperation with King Abdullah II.
Barzani, who played a key role in forming the Kurdistan Alliance - a grouping of several Kurdish political parties - said on Sunday that the Alliance did not object to a potential coalition between the Iraqiya List and the State of Law coalition.
The Alliance, which includes Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party, won 43 parliamentary seats in the March polls. It has not yet announced a decision to ally with any other entity.
Former prime minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya List and current premier Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition have been locked in a dispute over who will head the new government since the March polls.
The Iraqiya List finished just two seats ahead of the State of Law coalition, not enough seats to form a clear majority.